Cowpats could be used to power milk tankers around the UK

Cowadunga! Cowpats could be used to power milk tankers around the UK as dairy farmers try to turn mucky manure into biofuel

  • Arla is taking part in an experiment in which manure is turned into biofuel 
  • It will provide a ‘limitless source of energy’ and create fertiliser for fields
  • Two milk tankers will be converted to run on methane-rich fuel – from 500 cows 

Cowpats could be used to power the tankers that transport milk around the country, if a trial is successful.

Leading UK dairy co-operative Arla is taking part in an experiment in which manure is turned into biofuel to provide a ‘limitless source of energy’.

The process will also create fertiliser which farmers can use on their fields.

Two milk tankers will be converted to run on the methane-rich fuel – sourced from 500 cows. 

Leading UK dairy co-operative Arla is taking part in an experiment in which manure is turned into biofuel to provide a ‘limitless source of energy’ (file photo)

The vehicles are expected to cover 60,000 miles over three months, with the manure helping to reduce carbon emissions by 80 tonnes – the equivalent of 23 cars travelling all the way around the world.

Arla farmer Ian Barker said: ‘Many of us recognise how valuable a cow’s milk is, but many aren’t aware manure is just as important. 

‘Processing cow manure in this manner provides us with a limitless source of energy, plus [what is] left over… makes an even richer fertiliser for my fields, so it’s a win-win.’

Arla farmers will send cows’ poo to a nearby anaerobic digestion plant. 

There it will be broken down into different components, including clean bio-methane, and converted into usable fuel.


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The vehicles are expected to cover 60,000 miles over three months, with the manure helping to reduce carbon emissions by 80 tonnes (file photo) 

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